Following the landmark trial against Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup, questions around the dangers of agricultural chemicals have been reported across the world.
While the replacement of agricultural chemicals with scalable toxic free alternatives is the ultimate goal, residue treatment within the food supply chain offers a more immediate opportunity. Recent studies have found that Electrolysed Water offers a highly effective natural solution to this problem.
ABC News recently reported that Australia’s peak cancer body, Cancer Council Australia, has called for an independent review into the world’s most popular weed killer after it was linked to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The call for the review comes in the wake of a landmark case in the US that awarded $410m to Californian man Dewayne Lee Johnson, who claimed Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup was a substantial factor in causing his terminal cancer, and that the company failed to warn of the potential risk.
By now, many consumers have heard of glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide known as Roundup, and warnings about its presence in many of their favorite foods. From oatmeal to granola bars, ice cream to even orange juice, trace amounts of the chemical can be found throughout your local supermarket.
The most widely used herbicide in the world
The Cancer Council Australia is concerned there has not been an independent or formal review of the chemical glyphosate — the active ingredient in Roundup — in more than two decades. Roundup in particular is the most widely used herbicide on the planet and is popular with home gardeners and farmers in Australia alike. Industry wide in Australia there are more than 500 glyphosate-based herbicide products on the market.
Balancing safe and healthy with yield and competitiveness
The optimal use of agricultural chemicals to control pests and disease is a challenging resource management problem, involving informed risk evaluation and management. With primary producers striving to remain internationally competitive and maximize their yield, chemical input costs are on the rise according to recent studies.
Despite the benefits widely recognized by international agencies arising from the use of agricultural chemicals, there has been increasing public concern worldwide about possible impacts on human health resulting from the application of chemicals and the presence of these entering the food chain once they have been applied.
Personal protective clothing recommended for herbicide use includes full body coverage along with glasses and a respirator.
PPE recommendation on Farming Ahead Website
Electrolysed water as a potential treatment solution
While the replacement of agricultural chemicals with scalable toxic free alternatives is the ultimate goal, residue treatment within the food supply chain offers a more immediate opportunity. A study in the United States recently evaluated the effects of using electrolysed oxidizing (EO) water treatment on the removal of pesticide residues (diazinon, cyprodinil and Phosmet) from spinach, snap beans and grapes, and the effect on produce quality.
The results found that EO water treatment to be more effective than bleach, VegWash and DI water in pesticide removal. In addition, no significant colour or texture deterioration were found on produce samples treated with EO water. It was concluded, EO water can be very effective in in pesticide residue removal.
The eWater Systems Experience
At eWater Systems we have a strong belief that water electrolysis is the future of cleaning and sanitising solutions. As a non-toxic and sustainable solution, it is a highly effective and simple technology to reduces our chemical footprint and save money on packaged chemicals.
eWater Systems is installed at over 350 sites across Australia with customers including:
Australian Government House
Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney Convention Centres
Bupa and Regis Aged Care
St. Vincent’s Hospitals
As a B Corp with a social mission to reduce the world’s chemical footprint, eWater Systems is well placed to apply their technology to facilitate the removal of pesticide residue on food products within the Australian agriculture industry.
Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) ‘Pesticide Use in Australia’
Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of Georgia (Hang Qi, Qingguo Huang, Yen-Con Hung)
Staying protected and safe when handling chemicals, Farming Ahead Website
Additional Reporting on Roundup